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audience

Taking Old Town Road to School

Little Nas X’ Old Town Road holds the record for most weeks on the Billboard chart. Children know the song, can sing it and dance to it. It has morphed into multiple music videos, gathering guest artists along the way. Why not find a way for the juggernaut to support …

Having Fun With Book Culture

I attended the American Library Association conference in Washington, DC and had an opportunity to visit the expansive—REALLY expansive—exhibits. You might expect most exhibitors to be promoting books, and most of them were. What interested me was add-ons, or ways that people were extending the pleasures of book culture. This …

Unhealthy Metaphors

by Neil Andersen In Metaphors We Live By, cognitive linguist George Lakoff explains that most of our language is metaphorical. This is especially true when we are discussing abstract ideas rather than concrete ideas. Concretely, we can say that someone is shovelling manure when in a barn, but abstractly, we …

Baby It’s Cold Outside

by Neil Andersen and Diana Maliszewski This is the saga of a song. The melody and lyrics have remained intact, yet its long list of performers and audiences have profoundly changed its experience and perception. At first considered ‘cute,’ and even subversive or liberating, it has become contentious—even toxic—among some …

Analyze the “New” Anthem

by Diana Maliszewski Media literacy can be most impactful when the media texts chosen for study are items that students interact with daily, often without much consideration. The Canadian national anthem, “O Canada”, is just such a media text. Asking pertinent questions that promote critical thinking can lead to fascinating …

Critical Thinking: Solution or Problem?

Recent populist political victories have caused pundits to wonder if public education has failed and democracy is at risk. Some wonder, “How can people who are openly racist, sexist, xenophobic and vulgar get elected in democracies that pride themselves on their voters’ education?” danah boyd wonders if education—and specifically media …

Ethical Choices and Voices

There is a long-ignored, newly-recognized ‘holy grail’ in technical education and its home can be found in media literacy education. IT has traditionally been a sharing and celebration of effective ways to learn, produce, process and communicate. Spreadsheets, databases, simulations, graphics, videos and 3D printers have all been supercharged by …

Things to Know About Rulers

by Neil Andersen, Diana Maliszewski and Nina Silver In an early episode of The Crown, a young Queen Elizabeth is frustrated because she feels that she is not being taken seriously, both for being young and a woman. She is counselled to upbraid her Prime Minister, Winston Churchill—to admonish him …

What is your emoji-name?

by Neil Andersen 🤐👁️🙏⌨️🏊👨‍🍳🎶🍫 Emojis are ideograms and smileys used in electronic messages and Web pages. (Wikipedia) Their uses are growing rapidly, especially in texting, to graphically represent ideas and emotions. There are hundreds of emojis, with more being added. What might students learn from researching and developing their own …